The prestigious Scottish University recognizes the golfer from Hondarribia for representing the best of sporting values
José María Olazabal, double winner of the green jacket in Augusta and one of the most emblematic players of the European team in the Ryder Cup, has been awarded Doctor Honoris Causa this Tuesday by the prestigious University of St. Andrews, considering him an excellent ambassador of the best values of sport, synthesized in his permanent spirit of sacrifice to meet his goals. “I didn’t expect it at all”, he declared very excited.
The 56-year-old from Hondarribia, who is now competing in the senior circuit, has received recognition in a solemn ceremony held at the Scottish academic institution, founded in 1413 and the nerve center of this town that overlooks the North Sea. He has shared the spotlight with nothing more and nothing less than Jack Nicklaus, Lee Trevino and Cariona Matthew, to whom the higher education center has also awarded the same distinction for their contribution to the expansion of a sport that in this country is almost a religion.
True to tradition, the ceremony designed by the rectors of St. Andrews responded in the purest British style with formal speeches, representative clothing from each faculty and a perfectly organized procession that walked the main street of a given municipality. A few meters from this artery, crowded with the public, several players were rushing their practice round on the legendary course that hosts the Open this week, the fourth ‘Major’ of the season. In the background, a constant sound of bagpipes mixed with bells.
Olazabal was unable to hold back his tears while a university official glossed over his sporting successes and praised the effort it took him to achieve them. «When he has talked about my family, about what I have achieved… One looks back and thinks ‘I have done something good.’ The winner in Augusta in 1994 and 1999 has pointed out that Nicklaus has also “been very excited” and has not hesitated to ensure that he would exchange a green jacket for a victory in St. Andrews. «Man, that for a golfer is the he doesn’t go anymore, the sumun».